“Hallelujah! My soul, praise the Lord. I will praise the Lord all my life; I will sing to the Lord as long as I live.” (Psalm 146:1-2)
These two verses that head up Psalm 146 are the psalmist’s conclusion. “I will praise the Lord all my life.” He then shows how he got there.
He first states categorically that he did not get there by the help of man. He admonishes people not to put their hope and trust in man, even if that man is a person of great character and standing, someone like a noble. Man’s help cannot be trusted because man is finite. He dies. On the day he dies, so do his plans. Thus linking your hope to what someone else can do for you places you on tenuous footing.
The psalmist says he came to his conclusion because God is the One who helped him, who blessed him. He admonishes us to put our hope and trust in God, who is not finite, who remains forever faithful.
But watch what happens next in Psalm 146. In verses 7-9 the psalmist enumerates several expressions of God’s faithfulness and compassion. Let’s think through these. Does God execute justice for all who are exploited? Does He give food to all who are hungry? If He does, how is it that some in our day still die of starvation? Does the Lord free all prisoners? Does He open the eyes of all who are blind? Clearly, in our observable reality, the answer to these questions is no, not in every case. However, when these events do happen, they come from the Lord. No man is capable of any of this. Only God is capable, and therefore only He is worthy of our hope.
Another possible understanding is that the psalmist is speaking here of spiritual realities, of spiritual injustices, spiritual hunger, spiritual bondage, spiritual blindness and such.
Mainly, these items the psalmist touches on are expressions of human hope. We thus tie our hope fully to the Maker of heaven and earth, who alone has the ability to do these things, whether in a physical reality or a spiritual reality. And that is why we sing our praises to Him, for all eternity.
Lord, Our hearts sing Your praises today, for You alone are worthy. Amen.